News Release 07-051
Students Benefit from Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Many pursue advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
May 2, 2007
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Undergraduate students who participate in hands-on research are more likely to pursue advanced degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to a new study.
The study's authors state that National Science Foundation (NSF) and other entities' efforts to encourage representation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields appear to be effective.
For example, students who entered 2-year colleges were as likely as those who entered 4-year colleges or universities to participate in research. And undergraduate researchers were more likely than non-researchers to pursue a doctorate.
"This study indicates that carefully designed undergraduate research experiences motivate students," said Myles Boylan, program director for NSF's Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement Program in the Divisions of Undergraduate Education and Graduate Education. "Students consider their research experiences to be effective previews of doing STEM graduate work as well as good learning experiences."
The authors conclude that given the positive outcomes of undergraduate research opportunities (UROs), greater attention should be given to fostering STEM interest in students at the elementary and high school levels.
The study resulted from a series of surveys on UROs funded by eight NSF programs with a substantial undergraduate research component.
The surveys were conducted between 2003 and 2005 by SRI International. NSF funded the research. The results were published in the April 27, 2007 issue of Science.
Dana Topousis, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-7750, email: email@example.com
The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.
Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: https://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: https://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: https://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/